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Hate Speech Inquiry Unnecessary

7th August 2004

Hate Speech Inquiry Unnecessary

Christian Heritage NZ leader Ewen McQueen said today that any proposal to introduce “hate speech” legislation was really just an attempt to stifle public debate on the issue of homosexuality. It was no coincidence that it was being raised at this time when the Civil Unions and Relationships bills were being pushed through Parliament. He commented:

“Opponents of this legislation are often falsely accused of being “hateful” by those advocating for state recognition of homosexuality. Now those promoting these bills want to try and close down the debate by advocating “hate speech” legislation. It’s a direct attack on freedom of speech by people who are determined to silence any view that doesn’t endorse homosexuality.”

Mr McQueen went on to say that the proposed inclusion of religious groups in the scope of those who needed protection against “hate speech” was a smokescreen to try and give wider legitimacy to the proposal. He stated,

“ It is not religious groups that are pushing for this sort of legislation. Most of them realise that it is not an attempt to protect them at all. It is an attempt to silence them. There is only one group pushing for this sort of legislation – those advocating for the full social acceptance of homosexuality.”

The CHNZ leader said Christian groups were often the subject of public vilification and abuse from a liberal anti-Christian minority in New Zealand. However no Christian leaders that he knew of were seriously concerned about this. In fact they welcomed robust public debate on matters pertaining to faith.

Mr McQueen concluded that the Parliamentary inquiry into whether “hate speech” legislation should be introduced was completely unnecessary and a waste of taxpayers’ money. He said there was no demonstrated need for the inquiry and Parliamentarians would do better focussing on the real issues facing our nation – like the soaring child abuse rate. He stated:

“There is no evidence whatsoever that New Zealand has a problem with violence being publicly incited against any particular minority group. Yet the tragic evidence of violence being perpetrated against children is almost daily in our newspaper headlines. Why don’t we have an inquiry into that?”

ENDS


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